BIRDS OF ICELAND : Stercorarius parasiticus, Arctic Skua

Stercorarius parasiticus; skua's are known best for their stealing of prey (fish) from other birds like gulls, puffins, fulmars, terns, etc. The arctic skuas are no different in this respect, be it that they will not readily attack larger gulls like the great black-backed gull. A close relative, the larger great skua: Stercorarius skua (also common on Iceland), however does attack larger seabirds like the larger gulls and gannet. Next to the Iceland breeding species arctic and great skua two other skua species can be seen during the migration period: the long-tailed skua (Stercorarius longicaudis) and the pomarine skua Stercorarius pomarinus. Returning to the arctic skua, there are different color phases, being dark, light and intermediate phases. All can be found on Iceland. The first photo depicts the dark phase. They breed both along the coastal regions as well as in the interior highlands. In winter they are generally found at sea.

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A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise


 Dark phase spreading wings.
 Light phase.
 Light phase spreading wings (note the length of the wings!)
 Light phase in flight showing long tail pin.
 Intermediate phase.
 Eggs of the Arctic Skua in nest.
 Reload first photo of the dark phase.

 Dark phase spreading wings.
 Light phase.
 Light phase spreading wings
 Long tail pin.
 Intermediate phase.
 Eggs in nest.
 First photo .

 Press on photo for full size

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